The numerous museums in South Tyrol’s main town tell about art, Ötzi, nature and how school was in times gone by.
Image gallery: Museums in Bolzano
Bolzano is also a town of superlatives regarding its museums and exhibitions: It features the first School Museum of Italy - the one in the quarter of Rencio - and the oldest museum of South Tyrol - the Municipal Museum which was inaugurated in 1905 by the Bolzano Museum Association - as well as South Tyrol’s first virtual museum - the Tecneum under the Medieval Arcades - and the only collecting and documentation point of natural history objects in South Tyrol - the Museum of Nature in the historical Via Bottai alley in the town centre.
But probably the most famous of the about one dozen museums in Bolzano is dedicated to the legendary Iceman: since 1998, Ötzi has been exhibited in a cooling chamber inside the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. A five-minute walk from it towards west there’s the massive Monument to Victory with its underground exhibition which tells about the eventful history of the monument itself and of the town of Bolzano, whereas 550 metres south of it the glass cube of the Museion - the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art with its 4,500 objects - towers into the sky.
Further museums are dedicated to Nativity scenes (Muri-Gries Monastery), to the history of the local cinema (Cinè Museum), to the Cathedral Treasury (Bolzano Cathedral Treasury) and to the role of Bolzano as an important commercial centre between the North and the South (Mercantile Museum). Just outside town limits but comfortably reachable by public means of transport rises Castel Firmiano with its Messner Mountain Museum Firmian. Once a year, most of the museums take part in the “International Museum Day” and the “Long Night of Museums”, offering free admission as well as an interesting entertainment programme for young and old visitors.